Like fellow neurotic Woody Allen, Albert Brooks is celebrated as a director who stars in his own films (Lost in America, Defending Your Life, Mother). But now Brooks has taken the whole auteur-to-actor thing a step further by casting fellow filmmakers James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, and Rob Reiner as themselves in October Films' The Muse. The trio will be sharing the bill with such full-time actors as Sharon Stone, Jeff Bridges, and Andie MacDowell in a comedy about a down-and-out screenwriter (Brooks) who gets inspiration from a beautiful L.A. woman. Boasts October copresident Scott Greenstein, "When giants like these guys agree to act in someone else's film, it's obviously a big deal." Maybe so, but who's going to yell "Action"?
CRACKING A SMILE
Brace yourselves, teenyboppers. On the set of his latest film, Fight Club (directed by Seven's David Fincher), Brad Pitt has undertaken a decidedly unsexy form of Method acting by voluntarily chipping out pieces of his front teeth to play a man who brawls in illegal under ground bouts. No stranger to cosmetically glamming down his pinup looks (remember his grotesque pried-open eye in 12 Monkeys?), Pitt visited a dentist for his new snaggle-toothed grin. "Brad's willing to go to great lengths for a character," says Pitt's publicist, Cindy Guagenti. "Most people hate to go to the dentist." Once filming is finished at the end of October, she stresses, the sex symbol plans to get his pearly whites restored.
Most filmmakers try to avoid an NC-17 rating because it scares away potential ticket buyers. But South Park cocreator Trey Parker is bummed about the NC-17 his upcoming comedy Orgazmo faces for other reasons entirely. Parker claims that the indie porno/superhero spoof contains no sex or nudity and that it got slapped with the prohibitive rating purely because of the subject matter; he says he's even more upset about the potential reaction from audiences. "All these teenage guys are gonna see the NC-17 and think, 'Hey, it's about porno, it's gotta be a t---y movie,'" says Parker. "Guys are gonna rush out with the expectation of seeing sex and naked women and all kinds of dirty things. And when 19- and 20-year-olds go to movies with the expectation of seeing sex and naked women and all kinds of dirty things and then don't get to see any, they get very angry very quickly. Frankly, we're scared for our lives." If distributor October Films won't accept the NC-17, it can resubmit Orgazmo, with cuts, to try again for an R.
(Additional reporting by David Hochman)